Avian Bird Flu Testing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Avian Bird Flu Testing

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The idea of an avian bird influenza out-break has the State of Washington taking action.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to begin testing birds for flu strains across the state.

Right now the avian flu death toll is up to 131 people world wide. A dozen in china, 40 people in Indonesia.

The State of Washington wants to know the second the flu arrives here.

Starting next month, Fish and Wildlife plan to test shore birds, and water fowler near Moses Lake for the avian flu. The testing is part a national push to know when the flu strain hits American soil. The department thinks migrating birds that fly through the Columbia Basin may have interacted with Asian birds, and it doesn't want to take any chances.

"This is something that has caused human fatalities in other parts of the world, we haven't found it North America yet. If we do, we want to know about it," said Madonna Luers, Department of Fish and Wildlife.    

The department also plans to test game birds at hunter check stations this fall.